Sleepy Eyes Todd Runs Away With Charles Town Classic

Though he was making his first start on the six-furlong oval at Charles Town  Races in West Virginia, Sleepy Eyes Todd showed a proficiency for a “bullring” earlier this year when winning the Gus Fonner Stakes at Nebraska’s Fonner Park in front-running fashion by 6 1/2 lengths.

That helps explain why the 4-year-old gray colt by Paddy O’Prado was bet down from 10-1 on the morning line to 5-2 co-favoritism in Friday night’s $600,000, Grade 2 Charles Town Classic.

He did not disappoint.

Under jockey Carlos Delgado, Sleepy Eyes Todd outran Mo Dont No for the early lead, fought off a mid-race challenge from stakes veteran Multiplier, then ran off with a 7 1/2-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile contest. Trained by Miguel Silva for owner Thumbs Up Racing LLC, Sleepy Eyes Todd covered the distance on a fast track in 1:50.82 after setting fractions of :24.64, :49.14, 1:13.59 and 1:38.59.

He paid $7.60 for the win.

Plus Que Parfait, the G2 UAE Derby winner last year, finished second for trainer Brendan Walsh, with Timothy Grams’ West Virginia-bred Runnin’toluvya – last year’s Charles Town Classic winner – finishing third, Steve Asmussen-trained Tenfold fourth and Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Math Wizard fifth in the field of 10 older runners.

“It’s so exciting for me,” said Delgado. “I’m really so excited I can’t just explain.  I didn’t even know how far in front I was at the wire I was so excited.”

Out of the Wild Rush mare, Pledge Mom, Sleepy Eyes Todd was bred in Kentucky by Two Hearts Farm and Kristen Goncharoff. He was winning for the sixth time in 12 starts (at eight different tracks) and first time in a graded stakes.

The victory was worth $336,000 to the winner.

“This is the biggest win of my career and hopefully the first of many,” said Silva. “This is the nicest horse I’ve ever had and there are no words.  We always were really high on him, we’ve run in some big races and we’re so proud of him.  He actually threw a front right show tonight and won like that.”

David Cobb of Thumbs Up Racing said Sleepy Eyes Todd is “one heck of a racehorse.  As a baby, he trained at the Asmussen training center, which is a bullring, so he’s used to this type of environment.

“What a great racetrack,” Cobb said of Charles Town. “Everybody is so nice in West Virginia.  We really appreciate it.  From the hotel workers, to the staff here, they made us feel very comfortable.”

The post Sleepy Eyes Todd Runs Away With Charles Town Classic appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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